Women's basketball opens season at Baylor
Nov. 7, 2012
BEAUMONT, Texas - The Lamar Lady Cardinals face a tough task when they open their 2012-13 women's basketball season, going up against the defending national champion Baylor Lady Bears.
Tipoff is set for 12:05 p.m. Friday at Baylor's Ferrell Center (TV: Fox Sports Southwest; Internet: www.LamarCardinals.com).
This is the second consecutive season Lamar will be the opening opponent for the defending national champion. Last year, the Lady Cardinals dropped an 83-58 decision at Texas A&M, the first game for the Aggies after they won the 2011 national crown.
"Playing the No. 1 team in the nation is something you look forward to," Lamar coach Larry Tidwell said. "You have to be eager to play in a game like this. You can't have a deer-in-the-headlights approach. You have to respect everyone and fear no one."
The Lady Cardinals were 16-15 last season, their school-record fifth consecutive winning season. Lamar is led by senior Kalis Loyd, who enters the season with 1,431 career points, just 299 shy of the program record of 1,730 held by Uirannah Jackson.
Baylor returns all five starters from last season's squad that went 40-0. The Lady Bears, who are ranked No. 1 in the preseason polls, are led by 6-foot-8 senior Brittney Griner, last season's Division I Player of the Year.
"Playing the national champions gives you a gauge of where your program is at," Tidwell said. "We know we are not going to face any competition like this in the Southland Conference."
Baylor holds a 7-2 edge in the all-time series with Lamar. The teams last met on Nov. 29, 2009 at the World Vision Classic at Baylor, with the host Lady Bears claiming an 87-65 win over Lamar. Griner, who was a freshman, had a then-career high of 26 points to go along with 12 rebounds and eight blocks. Jenna Plumley had 22 points to lead Lamar. Jasmin Henderson, then a freshman, added eight points for the Lady Cardinals.
Lamar's last victory over Baylor came in December of 1988, with the Lady Cardinals rolling to a 77-36 home win over the Lady Bears at the Montagne Center. Cassie Brooks led Lamar with 22 points, while Jackson, Lamar's all-time leading scorer, finished with 20 points.
Larry Tidwell comes into the season with 106 wins, three behind Pat Park's school-record total of 109 victories.
The Lady Cardinals open the home portion of their 2012-13 schedule when they host UT Tyler at 7 p.m. Nov. 12 in the Montagne Center. Lamar has won 33 consecutive non-conference home games.
Lamar is 18-25 in season openers. The last time the Lady Cardinals won their season opener on the road was a 71-54 neutral-site win over Virginia Tech at the Florida International Classic in 1990. The last true road win to open a season was an 83-77 victory at Prairie View A&M to start the 1981-82 campaign.
For ticket information, call (409) 880-1715, or visit www.LamarCardinals.com.